JSTOR Quick Start Tutorial

JSTOR is database that contains scholarly articles from all different disciplines and subject areas. Much of its content is available in full-text, and in some cases, the full-text content goes back all the way to the 19th century. The most recent articles are sometimes not available in full-text for a year or more after publication.

The steps and screen shots displayed below will show how to access and do a basic search for journal articles using the JSTOR research database via the Empire State College library.

Before You Begin
If you are unfamiliar with accessing the college's research databases or entering your College login, review the "Access" quick start tutorial.

To Access JSTOR

  1. Go to library's home page at www.esc.edu/library.
  2. Under Journals & Articles, click the link for Resources "All databases by title"
  3. Scroll down the list of databases and click the link for JSTOR
  4. Enter your College username and password.
  5. Across the top are tabs. The three tabs that are useful for research are SEARCH, BROWSE, and MyJSTOR.


If you click BROWSE, you can look through JSTOR content by Discipline, Title (of the journal) or Publisher. However, if you want to browse by discipline, just stay on the first page. As you can see, the different subject areas are all listed in alphabetical order. Simply click on one of them to see the list of relevant journal titles.

If you click on one of these titles, you will see information about the journal, plus links to volumes of the journal. By clicking those links, you will be able to view the articles within a particular volume and issue of a journal.


If you click SEARCH, you will be taken to the Advanced Search screen. This is the best way to find articles on a particular topic.
  • Use the pull-down menu to select AND, OR, or NOT to join your keywords
  • Use the Add a Field button to make a box for an additional keywords
  • Include only content I can access automatically eliminates any search results with no full-text content
  • Include links to external content includes search results that have full-text content in another database or on the web
  • Item Type, Date Range, and Language allow you to limit your search further
  • You can make your search more precise by checking off which disciplines or even journals you want to search.


Once you do a search, you will get a results list that looks like this:

  • At the bottom of the page, Next and Previous let you navigate among many pages of search results.
  • Use Sort By to arrange your search results by relevance or date. (Relevance is the default.)
  • The title of the article is a link to article information.
  • PDF takes you directly to the full-text
  • The checkbox next to the search result lets you select it. Once you have selected all the articles you want, you can then Save, Email or Export (using RefWorks) your selected articles in batches.


JSTOR articles require you to have a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is free and available to download here.

Your article will display in a new window. From there, you can save it to your computer or a thumb drive, or print it using the icons at the top left of the window.

For help using additional and more advanced search and results options, click on JSTOR's Help link in the top right-hand corner.